Does Baking Soda Damage Wood?

Does Baking Soda Damage Wood?

Before you use one of those baking soda cleaning recipes, it’s a good idea to ask “dose baking soda damage wood?”

The answer is YES, it can! If the wood is unfinished, baking soda will react with the tannins in the wood and will darken the wood. Keep reading to find out when it is safe to use baking soda to clean wood.

Unfinished Wood And Baking Soda.

Baking soda will most definitely stain unfinished wood. Especially a dark wood full of tannins. The baking soda reacts with the tannins in the wood making them darker.

Sometimes people will do this on purpose in order to make the wood look more aged. Instead of putting a stain on the wood to darken the color you can put a mixture of baking soda and water on the wood. This process will bring out the natural color variation in the wood more so than a stain will.

Watch this video to see this process in action!

How To Clean Unfinished Wood.

To clean unfinished wood you will just use warm water and dish soap. You don’t need any fancy cleaners for this. Just mix a small amount of dish soap with worm water and scrub the wood with a cleaning pad.

Once you have scrubbed the entire surface you will want to dry the wood off with a towel. It is important that you get the wood dry as soon as possible!

That’s it! That is all you need to do for unfinished wood, unless you are talking about a cutting board. In the case of a cutting board you may want to be a bit more aggressive with your cleaning method because it comes in contact with your food.

For a cutting board you will want to rinse it with warm water first. Now dry if off with a clean towel and pour white vinegar over it. Let is set for a few minutes. This will help to disinfect the cutting surface.

Next, rinse and sprinkle the entire surface with baking soda. Allow the baking soda to soak in for a minute. Then scrub thoroughly with a sponge and rinse with warm water.

Follow the directions in this video for cutting boards.

How To Clean Wood With Baking Soda.

Baking soda is an excellent cleaner and odor remover. It is safe to use on wood just as long as the finish on the wood is still good. If not, the baking soda can stain the wood in the areas that are not finished properly.

There are a few ways to clean with baking soda. You can use it dry or mix it with just a little water to make a past.

The first way to use baking soda to clean wood is to just apply it to the surface as is. This is useful for cleaning up a bad smell. After you have covered the affected area, rub it in with a cloth and let it set for 30 min. After this you will want to clean it up with a vacuum and a dry rag.

To remove stubborn marks on your finish just mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water into a thin paste. Use a scrubbing pad in a circular motion with this paste. Just be careful to make sure you are not removing the finish while you are at it!

Other Uses For Baking Soda.

You can also use baking soda in the following ways:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on countertops, stovetops, or inside refrigerators. Scrub with a damp rag. Rinse with a clean wet rag.
  • Make a paste with water to clean ovens. Leave on overnight. Wipe out with clean wet rag the next day. You can also make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for really stubborn caked on food.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in pans with burned on food. Add hot water and soak overnight.
  • Add to wash load – you can even replace half of your laundry soap with baking soda.
  • Make a paste with water to clean the bathroom sink, tub, tile, and toilet.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in trashcans before and after adding trash bags.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the dog and brush.
  • Soak diapers in a solution of baking soda before washing to remove odors. (Great addition to diaper pails).
  • Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, let stand for 15-20 minutes and vacuum to remove odors.
  • Leave an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator.
  • Add to kitty litter to control odors.

Watch this video for 1o ways to use baking soda for cleaning!

Is Cleaning With Baking Soda Safe?

Unlike some other chemicals used in cleaning products, baking soda is a pretty safe chemical. You can even take it internally as an antacid as noted right on the Arm & Hammer baking soda box. However, the directions warn that the baking soda should be completely dissolved in water first and not taken when you’re full.

The only real safety concern with baking soda is that it can cause eye irritation and redness according to the International Chemical Safety Card (ICSC). Flushing the eyes with water for several minutes and then seeing a doctor is recommended if it gets in your eyes. Other than that, baking soda is very safe!

How To Eliminate Baking Soda Stains on Wood.

If you do end up with a stain from baking soda on your unfinished wood, you may still be able to salvage your piece. There are a few things that you can do in this case.

First you can try a applying oxalic aicd(wood bleach) to remove the tannin stains left by the baking soda. This works by removing the tannin stains in the wood.

You simply mix the oxalic acid with water as directed on the container and use a brush to apply the solution to the stained area. Then use a brush to scrub the mixture into the wood to remove the tannin stains.

Once the mixture has had a chance to work on the stain and remove it you will want to rinse the wood with water. A wet rag and a bucket of water works best for this. Make sure that you thoroughly dry the wood as soon as you are finished rinsing it off!

Watch this video to see the oxalic acid in action!

So, there you have it! Now you know the pros and cons of using baking soda on wood.

I would really appreciate it if you could pin the image below!


1 thought on “Does Baking Soda Damage Wood?”

  1. i unclogged my tables wood grain with dry baking soda and a very fine sanding sponge, i had neglected puting a finish on it for about 2 years ( we dont sit at the table we sit at my sons toddler table ) but we sometimes en up doing stuff at my beloved table and after a long time the unfinished wood got all clogged and yucky and after cleaning up a mess on my carpet with baking soda and thinking carpets like wood, you dont want to get it wet to clean it cause it just makes things a lot worse then they where if there isnt anything protecting it ( i also neglected to put fabric protect on the carpet) so i took my baking soda to the table and scrubbed it in dry and oh my god it looks amazing again! wanted to share because it made a huge impact on my wood working hobby 🙂

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